page title icon Why Is Soccer the Most Popular Sport in the World?

You would hardly find anyone who does not know about soccer at present. In the United States, the sport is popular by the name of “soccer”.

Likewise, it is also well known by names such as “football” and “the beautiful game” in the other parts of the world.

Regardless of how you address or play it, the fact remains that it is the hot favorite sport across the globe. The massive viewership of both world cup and league soccer matches speaks volumes for its enormous popularity.

But why is soccer the most popular sport in the world? Read on to get the answer to this and several other questions linked to the topic in this article.

Is Soccer as Popular in the United States as Other Sports?

Notwithstanding the huge number of soccer admirers of soccer in the United States, it is not as popular as basketball and baseball in the country.

One possible reason for it, according to most enthusiasts, is the heightened preference of wealth over skills.

On Reddit, the majority of American soccer admirers opine that both natives and immigrants refrain from encouraging their children to take up the sport as they find it too expensive to send their kids to the academy.

As a result, the US loses a fair number of talented young soccer players who would otherwise represent the country at the global level.

Besides, a lesser time duration for advertisement is another reason for which soccer is not as popular as the other sports in the United States. The only suitable time for advertisements is the interval between the first half and the second half which is inadequate for generating money through ads.

Reasons for Soccer’s Popularity Around the World

Soccer may not be as famous in the United States as the other sports. But it grabs the top spot among the most preferred entertaining games in the other countries on the other continents.

Why do people like soccer so much? Of course, love for the game is one of the prominent factors that puts it in a favorable position in the minds of enthusiasts. In addition, there are also several reasons for it as given below.

1. The deep love for “the beautiful game”

Soccer gathers the maximum crowd at the stadium and viewership on the television sets. Though it varies between a friendly kick about and professional matches, it is a major crowd-puller compared to the other outdoor games.

Even the mere imagination of a soccer match is fascinating. Here’s what you can associate with a soccer match:

  • An electric atmosphere with heightened excitement
  • Different football shots: the standard shot, the chip shot, the inside shot, and more
  • Green grass
  • Breathtaking football skills
  • Intense and strong emotions

Given that a few other sports also have these elements, what makes soccer so special? It’s the anticipation of a goal; no other sport beats the excitement for it among spectators.

2. Soccer is “all for one and one for all”

In soccer, each player is important for a specific reason. Soccer coaches treat them as individual chess pieces while drawing up a winning strategy in the locker room. Soccer coaches ensure the compatibility of a player with their strategy before finalizing their selection.

Instead of individual training sessions, coaching staff members encourage collective warm-up to spread the message that they should remain loyal to their team and cooperate with the other players for the benefit of their side.

More than the inclusion of 11 players, their ability of these players to play together and adhere to a plan is what makes soccer a team game. All members of a soccer team pledge allegiance to their side and try their best to play for its benefit.

3. Soccer gives everyone a fair chance

When it comes to playing a team sport, a team’s collective performance takes precedence over the individual performances of its players. As such, the performance of an individual, regardless of how brilliant or extraordinary it is, fails to draw the desired level of attention from others.

Also, the involvement of a player in a team sport is another factor that serves as the benchmark for a player’s performance in a team sport.

Soccer, being a great leveler, does not deny a player the sense of justice on any of these fronts. Even the goalkeeper of a soccer team can score a goal. Every goal that the goalkeeper of a team saves is virtually on a par with scoring a goal.

Moreover, the name of a player also features on the scorecard whenever one looks at the team score.

4. The short duration of the game

Who doesn’t want pure entertainment in their life? If you can get it quickly, it can be a real blessing.

A soccer game, in general, lasts for 90 minutes. Its overall duration can be classified into two halves of 45 minutes each. Even as you include the break in between the two halves and the extra time, it ticks all the right boxes of your entertainment needs within 2.5 hours.

Most fans love the sport for the simple reason that it has the right duration that doesn’t break their daily routine.

5. Simple rules

Unlike other sports, the rules for playing a game of soccer are straightforward and simple to understand. Due to this reason, people find it easier to focus on the game than its technical aspects. Whilst knowledge is power, anyone who is capable of kicking the soccer ball can get started with playing the game.

6. The inexpensive nature of the game

Unlike baseball, soccer does not necessitate a player to invest in pricey items, either at the level of friendly kickabouts or professional tournaments. At the former level, one just needs a soccer ball and some space to get started.

As far as professional soccer tournaments are concerned, one needs a soccer ball and the availability of a playground. The overall expenses of organizing a soccer match are less expensive than that of the other tournaments.

Because it is a cost-effective sport, it attracts the attention of most people as they feel that they can take part in it without being worried about the budget factor.

7. Soccer matches involve cut-throat competition

The level of competition in a game plays a decisive role in either making it interesting or monotonous. No one wants to watch a game that ends up without a result. On the other hand, intense competition keeps players on their toes and the crowd on its feet.

Soccer is one of those outdoor games that maintains the element of “unpredictability” till the end. One goal can shift the balance from one team to the other in a moment.

All is not lost even as a team does not manage to do well in the first half. During the break interval, all the team members get together to huddle and come up with a fresh strategy in mind.

These elements contribute to the competitiveness of a soccer match. Soccer has more chances of a nail-biting finish than any other sports due to these reasons. Due to this reason, spectators also have a better chance of getting their money’s worth by opting for a football match than the other options.

8. The rich history of the sport

The rich history of soccer is one of the primary reasons for the popularity of the sport. Its origins date back to 200 BC in Europe. Things changed after the foundation of Sheffield F.C.

Ever since the first competition in 1871 – the year that witnessed that first FA Cup in England – the rules of the sport has evolved. It has come a long way since to grow as one of the most popular sports on the planet.

9. International recognition

Soccer is a global sport with international recognition. Popular soccer players are also considered as international sportsmen. A large number of youngsters choose to become full-time soccer players for this reason. They perceive it as a platform to not only showcase their skills but also build their career.

10. Popular leagues

Professional soccer tournaments involve several leagues. Interestingly, these matches in these leagues mark the beginning of the soccer season in a country. The manner of the organization of the tournaments may vary from one league to the other.

11. Huge fan following

It goes without saying that soccer has a huge fan following. From an average enthusiast to a die-hard fan, there is a long list of people who admire the game in their own ways. People who favor a particular team remain loyal to it and feel strongly for both its victories and losses.

They do not miss any opportunity to give a cheer to their favorite team or its stars whenever an opportunity comes along.

12. Marketing potential

With billions of viewers on television sets, soccer possesses tremendous marketing potential. It is due to the marketing potential of the clubs that draw the attention of fans in the league matches.

Numerous bigger brands put their money on mega soccer clubs like Real Madrid, Arsenal, Barcelona, and other such clubs. The involvement of money adds more charm to the game.

13. Game for all

There is no denying the fact that soccer is a game for all age-groups. Children, teenagers, youngsters, and senior people – anyone who can run and kick the ball can play the game.

14. Safety

Football is relatively safe in comparison to the other games involving physical contact. Despite the chances of injuries, soccer is overall considered a safe sport. This is also one of the reasons for which children and senior people also play soccer.

15. Good workout

Soccer gives a good workout among all the outdoor sports. It involves running, the use of feet, and sometimes the use of the head to kick, pass, and dribble the soccer ball. Thus, it gives a proper workout to all parts of the body.


As it is evident from the above, it stands out that there are several reasons that make soccer a popular sport. While there is a long list of reasons that come together to make the game popular, the ones mentioned above are the prominent ones among them.

What, according to you, are the other reasons behind the popularity of the game apart from the ones mentioned in the article?


How Popular Is Soccer?

At present, soccer is a popular global sport. Also called football, it played and watched in nearly every country on the planet.

How Many People Play Soccer?

If numbers are anything to go by, then around 265 million people are actively involved in playing soccer. The precise number of players can go further up given the massive popularity of the outdoor game.

John is the leading Product Review Specialist at 99sportz. He breathes Soccer, Baseball & Tennis and speaks fluently on all aspects of these sports. With his in-depth understanding of the sports, he curates product reviews & buying guides related to his idols sports. Know more about John Brown on 99Sportz About page.